ING Direct has a photo/essay contest going. If you have an ING account you can enter until Friday, but please don’t as we would like to keep our odds of winning higher.
And this is our essay:
As one of twelve children, I was raised with the understanding that paying for my post-secondary education would be primarily my responsibility. I started my college savings fund when I was eight years old, knowing that it takes a long time to save up enough money to pay for college when delivering newspapers is your business. More than 75% of my earnings in those ten years went straight into my savings account. By the time I graduated from high school I had several thousand dollars saved, but had also managed to earn a few scholarships and my savings wasn’t needed at the time. I decided to keep adding to it so that it could be used to pay for a graduate degree–which I hoped to earn within five years of graduating. Just before graduation I got married and had to start planning–and saving!–for two. My husband was very supportive of my goals and together we worked out a plan to set aside a few hundred dollars a month by having money automatically withdrawn from our checking account every pay period and put into various money market accounts and mutual funds, including an ING Orange Savings account. Even with the birth of our son we have been able to save nearly $30,000 in the three years we’ve been married because we don’t have to think about it, it just happens. This will help keep our student loans to a minimum as I go back to school this fall.
Think we’ll win? (The correct answer is YES.)